Lyon president admits to Umtiti talks

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed several clubs are interested in signing highly-rated defender Samuel Umtiti, and hinted that one may be Barcelona.

It's no secret that the 22-year-old has caught the eye of a number of European clubs, with Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino even publicly stating his admiration for Umtiti.

Earlier this week, in an interview with RMC, Aulas spoke about Barca's reported interest in Umtiti's team-mate Alexandre Lacazette.

"I really want him [Lacazette] to stay," Aulas said. "I met the Barcelona president not so long ago. He didn't talk to me about Alex."

When asked whether the discussion was about Umtiti, Aulas simply replied: "Maybe.

"In terms of his attitude and his intrinsic quality, the biggest foreign clubs – English and Spanish – are interested in Sam in a very clear way.

"That's not to say that we're going to let him leave because he's really very important to Olympique Lyonnais."

Aulas also lamented the state of Ligue 1, blaming foreign investment in rivals Paris Saint-Germain for the lack of competitiveness in the French top flight.

"When Qatar Tourism Investment gives €150 million to PSG, there's a €150m gap with the other clubs," he said.

Les Gones are currently second in the table but have no chance of catching PSG, with the difference between the two clubs an astronomical 27 points.

"If the champion ends with a 30-point lead every year, then there's a problem. It's not possible to see a French Leicester emerging," Aulas concluded.

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